R N A I S S A N C E
                  ART, RESTORATION & ARCHITECTURE, LLC

There is no real future without preserving our history and our culture. ~ Dan Tarnoveanu
Carleton College

Severance Hall, Carleton College 
Northfiled, Minnesota

Decorated and Painted Architectural Surfaces
Conservation and Restoration

Part of Carleton College campus, Severance Hall building was built under the direction of the architectural firm, Holmes and Flinn, from Chicago.  It was designed in Collegiate (English Tudor) Gothic style and was dedicated on October 18, 1928, by U.S. Secretary of State, Frank B. Kellog.

The Great Hall is the largest and most ornate space of Severance Hall and is the site of all prominent events on campus.   The decorative paintings on the plastered beams, corbels, moldings on the ceilings, and arches above doors and windows of the Great Hall were originally painted with oil colors.  They were painted on a smooth plaster support.  A transparent oil glaze was then applied.  The role of the glaze was to modify the colors underneath, thus achieving a softer and more pleasing look.  The color scheme was very well chosen.

Over the years, the plaster substrate and the paint layers suffered several types of degradations, due to infiltrating water, humidity (condensation), and temperature variations, such as powdery plaster and delaminating and flaking paint layers.  The paintings were covered with a thin layer of smoke, dirt, and dust.

Restoration consisted of:
  • Cleaning
  • Consolidation of the original paint layers
  • Touch-up
  • Varnishing
The restoration returned the paintings to their original look while preserving the patina.  The painted areas that were completely destroyed by infiltrating water and humidity were replicated.

This restoration project was completed in September 2003.




Exterior View of Severance Hall

BEFORE RESTORATION


DURING RESTORATION




AFTER RESTORATION





Website Builder